Embrace: Evolve Series, Book Two(9)

By: S.E. Hall

I sip mine slowly, watching their showdown back and forth over the end of my bottle.

“Evan?” Sawyer looks at me questioningly.

Oh, now I’m allowed input into the public dissection of my agony? I shrug, giving him a “take it away” hand wave. What do I really care? Might as well let them talk about it in front of me rather than after I walk away. I’ve got a good buzz and no bed in close proximity to call my own…fuck it.

“Evan starts here this semester. He gave up his scholarship in Athens to follow a girl here.”

Yes, I’d told Sawyer my woes, shedding some light on the seriousness of my love-induced fuck-up. Somehow I’d hoped he’d forgotten most of what I said. Alas…

“But when he got here, he found that said girl is otherwise occupied. So… I was trying to get his dick wet. Until you interrupted, that is.”

Sawyer: good guy, terrible mouth. Kinda funny, though. He goes from the eloquence of “found that said girl” to “dick wet” in the same breath.

Whitley gasps, so I quickly jump in. “I wasn’t trying to, well, what he said. Like I told you, his idea. I swear.”

Her lips tighten in a line, but her slight nod says she believes me. I don’t care that I’ve only just met her, I need her to know my mama didn’t raise me like that.

“And who’d you say the girl was?” she digs again.

“He didn’t,” I answer, “but it’s Laney Walker. You know her?”

“Really?” she sneers, her face literally that of someone who just got force fed a lemon wrapped inside a lime.

It’s the only cattiness she’s shown all night, even when Sawyer was being a dick, and is it ever catty. One thing’s for sure—Laney’s feelings about her are reciprocated.

“Really.” I wish it wasn’t all true, either, trust me.

“Yes, I’ve run into her a few times,” Whitley admits, awkwardly clinking the ice in her glass, seemingly fascinated by it. “None of them were pleasant.”

“And why is that?” I ask, wondering if I’m going to get the real story here. Maybe Laney took her spot on the softball team, though Whitley doesn’t look like much of a baller…

Sawyer scoffs loudly at my question and rudely answers for her. “Whitley here’s been stuck up Dane’s ass for years, ever since they were kids. Laney was here five minutes and had that boy whipped. Isn’t that right, Whitley?”

Her eyes are blatantly watery now, and not only do I feel bad for her, but I know exactly how she feels.

Smiling at her, I stand, offering her my hand. “Hungry? You drive, I’ll buy.”

“Yes!” She practically leaps out of her chair, latching on to my hand. For comfort, I’m guessing, and strangely, I get the sense of the same as soon as she touches me.

“Sawyer, I’m gonna feed the lady. I’ll text ya.” And with that, I lead her out, soon becoming the follower as she heads to her car.


We’ve been sitting at a late night diner for a while, bellies full of greasy goodness and every topic from Shakespeare to rollerblading (which neither of us are good at) discussed, when it occurs to me that I have nowhere to sleep. I could drive back home to my parents, completely sober now, but that sounds excruciating. I texted Sawyer and begged for his couch, but he has yet to answer, and it’s been so long now, he’s probably not going to. I guess I’ll just have Whitley drop me off at my truck; maybe I’ll sleep in it and head back in the morning. I can’t wander around like a vagabond until school starts, but I have time to think about that later. All I have to solve right now is tonight’s arrangements

“Penny for your thoughts.” Her gentle voice intrudes on my woes.

“Why are you dipping your French fries in your milkshake?” I ask, cringing but thankful for the lighthearted conversation starter rather than what I’d really been pondering.

“Because it’s good and my mother isn’t looking.” She bounces her eyebrows and snickers, like she’s really gotten away with something.

“I wish I wasn’t looking, either,” I joke with her, “it’s disgusting.”

“Have you ever tried it?” she challenges me with a smirk.

“No, and I’m not going to,” I fiddle with my straw, slurping up the last of my drink

“Au contraire, mon frère. You are gonna try it, and you wanna know why?”

This I gotta hear. “Enlighten me, please.”

“Because you need a place to sleep tonight, and I’m not letting you have my guest room until you try it. So grab a fry, you big wuss, and get to dippin’!”

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